“Stop being an audience and become something else. Stop waiting for people to lift you into a new place. No more event-based spirituality!” Graham Cooke
Light and life flow from these words – “No more event based spirituality!”
As I read words that are so in sync with my heart, I can barely handle it. I get up, walk and pray. This is one of those statements. The damage that event based spirituality has caused in the body of Christ is huge. In fact, my mind is racing ahead of my ability to type right now so I must stop and meditate on this for a bit, wondering why this bothers me so much. It really bothers me – event based Christianity/spirituality.
Event based Christianity = western Christianity for the most part. Gather the crowds, promote, sell, speak a message that’s popular, and then gather the statistics on how successful it was. Then, wait awhile and start over again, with the same people speaking and the same crowds attending year by year. I have seen this happening for years now. The same speakers over and over at the same conferences over and over.
Even in churches, there is a great divide that exists between those “up there” and those who come week after week, sitting in seats, going in and going out. This pattern repeats itself over and over again. The speakers and the audience. Yes, if one attends regularly, there are ministries to be involved in, special meetings to attend and more, yet after years of seeing this form of church, it still appears to fall short of the very life of Christ flowing through a body of believers. There are great shifts coming. Of that, I am sure. There has to be change – resurrection power requires death – death to the way we DO church to become the church Christ intended us to BE.
Event based spirituality (whether in a conference format or a church that flows like an entertainment venue) begins to take on a life of its own, not the life of Christ in Holy Spirit. That is evident as we visit churches. Some seem to be rolling on with their own momentum, with very little evidence of the supernatural power or anointing of Holy Spirit. Some simply don’t know Holy Spirit. Some flow as a business. For whatever reason, I believe change is desperately needed.
In our immaturity as Christians, we cry out for something we can feel, see and touch. We run from the call to maturity on any level because it is uncomfortable and required some measure of suffering. To flow in resurrection power, one must die to live. We don’t like death don’t we? Who does?
Sometimes it is easier to keep a church or a movement on life support rather than pull the plug to see what rises from the ashes.
Marvin and I don’t have any option right now except to focus on Jesus and the way He wants us to take. Pretty much everything has been pulled from our lives and we stand empty-handed. It’s a great place to be…..now.
Authentic Christianity is community oriented in Christ. Event based spirituality is not. We need to make the shift. Many are already making the shift and it has led many out – out of churches, out of structure, out. I love the church but the church needs to change its course and its focus. Pull the plug on any measure of life support and let it die so that it may live in Christ. It’s not about us anyway, is it?
Christ in me, Christ in you, Christ in us. It is all quite simple. Event based spirituality/Christianity lacks flow and authenticity. Boundaries and borders form in the natural with a focus on product – the product being numbers of people, financial rewards, and more. This is man’s wisdom. Christian community is organic and flowing, listening and responding to the directives of Holy Spirit.
Authentic Christianity forms by listening and obeying Holy Spirit, walking by faith when all seems contrary to natural wisdom. Growth comes through heavenly directives, not cultural trends.
Authentic Christianity flows in God appointed leadership who impart into people’s lives and co-create an atmosphere in Christ where people flow in their unique creative expression in Christ.
Authentic Christianity thrives on change.
Authentic Christianity lives in an eternal perspective as we are seated in heavenly places.
Authentic Christianity is formed and established in love. Love is messy, flowing, moving, and changing at all times. This all makes life interesting and keeps us focus on Jesus.
Authentic Christianity is dynamic, not static.
So where is one to find this? There are habitations of His glory forming, with more rising up each day. Holy Spirit is creating them in locations all across the earth – buildings, home groups, coffee shops and more. The creativity is endlessly and eternally being expressed in Christ. There’s no stopping Him. What is our part? (Each of us has a part in the Spirit.) As we go to Kenya in 2015, we will walk alongside pastors there to encourage and build them up in Christ to BE their unique expression in Christ.
There is so much more on this topic but these are my words for today. Extraordinary times are ahead of us in 2015. I perceive them now and focus on being in sync with God, no matter where He calls me or what He tells me to do. I am an extraordinary woman who walks in the excellence of Holy Spirit.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.” Benet Wilson